This area, first settled in 1664, was one of four Congregational parishes in Simsbury. The Turkey Hills Ecclesiastical Society in 1786 became a section of Granby, and in 1858 was incorporated as the Town of East Granby. An unusual geographical feature, a basalt ridge dividing the Town lengthwise, has had considerable influence upon its character. The first incorporated copper mine in America was on the western side of this Talcott Range. The mine subsequently became New Gate Prison, a Revolutionary War jail and the first prison in the United States (1790). Farming has always been the mainstay of the Town. The early twentieth century saw local farmers specializing in dairy products and tobacco. The number of operating farms diminished as the population of the Town increased from 838 in 1858 to 4600 in 1979 but the rural character of East Granby remains.
(See other side)
These local citizens were but a few of the many who have left their mark upon the history of this Nation:
John Griffin (1605-1681) - First settler and first military officer in this area.
Samuel Higley (1687-1737) - Doctor and artist, who minted the first copper coins in America and pioneered in the manufacture of steel.
Captain John Viets (1712 1777) - First keeper of New Gate Prison.
Whitfield Cowles (1764-1840) -
Entrepreneur, minister, and farmer, who founded one of the first companies to silverplate spoons (1843).
Eunice Griswold Pinney (1770 1849) - Well-known artist who worked with water colors.
Walter Forward (1783-1852) - Lawyer and Secretary of the Treasury for President Tyler.
Lemuel Cicero Holcomb (1795 1876) - Conducted a boys' school specializing in Greek and Latin.
Albert Carlos Bates (1865-1954) - Farmer, librarian, author, and historian.
Erected by the Town of East Granby
the East Granby Historical Society
and the Connecticut Historical Commission